If I were to ask you how many clients you have in your pipeline, would you be able to answer that by head?
Do you know the top five clients that are going to give you money this week?
How much money are you expecting to make before the end of this month?
If you can’t answer the above three questions by head, then you have to either work on building up your pipeline or you have to analyze your pipeline further.
What is a pipeline, you may ask? A pipeline is a way of tracking your potential buyers as they move through the stages of your sales process. In short, these are the customers you are expecting to buy your product or service for the day, week, or month.
One thing I’ve seen about salespeople is that they often underestimate the value of having a big pipeline.
The average lead to close ratio across the world is 5%. What this means is that for every 100 clients you get, chances are, you will close only 5.
Given the above insight, if you make $200 per customer and you have a target of $50 000 per month, then you need to have at least 5000 potential clients in your pipeline to meet that target.
I always tell people that selling is a numbers game. You need to have as many prospects as possible to successfully close more deals.
The challenge with a lot of salespeople however is where they can find the prospects.
Here are three things you can do to start growing your company’s database and get more prospects for your organization.
1. Start Using LinkedIn
Many people ignore this platform but it is a goldmine of leads especially if you sell products or services to other businesses.
You can literary find anyone or any contact you want if you know how to use the platform well.
I had one salesperson reach out to me. He had compiled a list of potential companies he wanted to sell to but did not have any entry point or contacts.
On his list was Nestle Zimbabwe.
Before walking him through the strategy, I first asked him what he intended to do and he said that he wanted to make a cold call through the reception.
I advised him against it(I hate cold calls by the way). Instead, we went on his LinkedIn account and just searched for Nestle Zimbabwe, and behold over 30 profiles of people who worked in Nestle came up. One of those was his former workmate who later introduced him to the Head of Procurement in the company.
That’s the power of LinkedIn.
2. Look Through Classifieds and Yellow Pages
I’m sure you’re no stranger to the classifieds and yellow pages platforms. There are tens of thousands of businesses listed there according to their categories.
The strategy here is to find businesses you want to target, look for their cell phone numbers, find the name of the person using the line, research the person further and reach out.
It’s a simple strategy that pays massive dividends
3. Look through your Powerbase
Your powerbase are people you know that you have dealt with before. These can be churchmates, former schoolmates, former colleagues, relatives, and friends.
When prospecting, we often run to people outside of our influence and ignore the people who are in our immediate circle of friends.
I know of a person who wanted to offer his service to a certain company. He spent over three months failing to get listed as a supplier in the company.
When we conducted sales training for their organization, we taught this powerbase concept.
After the training, he posted in his family group if anyone knew someone from the company he wanted to deal with, and to his surprise, his father-in-law was best friends with the CFO of that company. He got a formal introduction and the rest is history.
The people you know can be a valuable source of referrals for you.
As we start this new month, you have to invest in looking for clients and growing your database.
There is no perfect time to get started.
PS. Learn more about our sales training programs for businesses here.